By Genalyn Kabiling
The Department of Tourism (DoT) should manage the funds related to the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games this year, a Palace official said Monday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the country’s sports agencies such as the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) could then “collaborate” with the tourism department about the conduct of the international event.
Panelo made the remarks after President Duterte reportedly rejected any move by privately-formed Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Foundation to take over the hosting gig from concerned sports agencies.
“As far as I know, it should be the Department of Tourism,” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing when asked who should manage the SEA Games funds.
“When you hold an international event that will attract tourists and principally that should be the Department of Tourism,” he added.
Asked if a private foundation can take control of an international sporting event, Panelo said it must hurdle a public bidding first.
“I do not know if that can be done. If private entities come in, I think it will—there should be a bidding process for that,” he said.
He said an executive order mandating the concerned government agency to handle the upcoming international games “may be forthcoming.”
“Since he made that statement, then that is forthcoming. Iyon ang posisyon niya, ayaw niya sa foundation eh [That’s his position. He does not want the foundation],” he said.
For clarity, Panelo said he would ask the President about his position on the matter.
The PHISGOC led by Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is currently considered the official organizing committee fo the 30th SEA Games slated later this year.